Now in its fourth year, the institute was founded by the nation's top conservation agencies and organizations. It continues to address the most significant conservation challenge of the twenty-first century - leadership.
According to research conducted in 2004, more than half of the leaders in state fish and wildlife agencies and federal conservation agencies will have retired by 2015.
"To have competed for and then be chosen among a nation of conservation professionals to take part in the inaugural class of the Institute is a great honor," Armstrong said.
The National Conservation Leadership Institute was created to train tomorrow's conservation leaders in the latest leadership thinking and practice; and each Fellow will learn from the nation's most influential conservation leaders and leadership experts including Marty Linsky, co-author Leadership on the Line and Margaret Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science. Through the institute, 25 state fish and wildlife employees, six federal conservation agency employees, one tribal member and four nongovernmental agency employees will work together over the next 10 months on priority leadership challenges and solutions.
Offered each year to a select group of 36 individuals identified by their nominating organizations as "high potentials," the institute is referred to by many as natural resource conservation's "war college." The institute is by no measure only a training program; it is a unique, comprehensive learning experience designed to challenge assumptions, teach skills, facilitate networking, and strengthen confidence, preparing extraordinary leadership for the future. Each fellow was chosen for potential to build effective coalitions, lead organizational change, and deliver results; as well as for their work experience and goals.
"Natural resource organizations nominated top employees to participate in this extraordinary leadership experience," says Matt Hogan, Chairman of the Institute Board. "The 36 fellows selected represent a diverse mix of people and perspectives from across the country and across organizational boundaries. We look forward to another year of the Institute producing powerful results."
"By all accounts from those who have graduated from the program, The National Conservation Leadership Institute is approaching leadership development in a very different and effective way," says Dr. Sally Guynn, the institute's executive director. "The program is challenging, intense, and producing results in a most dramatic way."
The institute is supported by the nation's most passionate conservation interests including: The Weatherby Foundation, Boone and Crockett, Pope and Young Club, Southern Company, Honeywell, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the National Conservation Training Center, Bass Pro Shops, the Campfire Club, Dallas Safari Club, and America's Wildlife Association for Resource Education.